Fitness Journal: Day 29

Prompt: What is your definition of beauty?

(For ease of posting, I’ll stick with beautiful people, as opposed to beauty in nature or the world in general. I think that’s what’s meant by the prompt.)

My definition of beauty has nothing to do with physicality. A person who is morbidly obese, and hideous according to societal standards, can be beautiful beyond measure, based on actions. Someone whose appearance  is flat-out stunning to society, can be revoltingly ugly.

I had a conversation with a couple recently. They’ve had a very difficult year. Their daughter was extremely ill with the kind of thing not easily diagnosed. Though she is home now, the illness will require management for the rest of her life.

A couple of months ago, we happened to be in the same building. Though I don’t know them well, I wanted to check in with them. Make sure they were okay. We sat and talked casually, for an hour or so. A week later, the female half of the couple tells me she has been wanting to send me a thank you note for reaching out. She tells me I’m a beautiful person. This remains one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

I wanted to ask what on earth I said/did that prompted her comment. I really would like to know. I sit and had a conversation. I did less talking than listening. I gave them an hour of my time. That’s it. Nothing special.

I went through what I could remember of the conversation with a fine-toothed comb, trying to figure it out. Granted, my memory sucks, but I uncovered nothing of note. I did not offer sage words of advice. I just listened. Is kindness really that rare, that remarkable?

I define beauty on conduct and conduct alone. Does a person practice kindness? Do they reach out to others with support or gratitude or empathy? Do they seek to embrace new knowledge and points of view? Are they open and honest, without using honesty as an excuse to be hurtful? (God, that dress is hideous? … What? I’m just being honest!) Do they live with an open mind? Do they refrain from gossip? Do they love freely and with abandon?

These are the things that make someone beautiful. It is what’s on the inside that creates beauty.

Fitness Journal: Day 27

Prompt: Are other people in your life trying to get healthy/living healthy? How do you handle being around others who do not ascribe to/support your lifestyle?

I don’t have anyone in my life that is working, on a daily basis, to be healthy and stay fit. I know, first hand, how hard it is to make the choice to get fit and stay that way. I can’t find fault with those who don’t do what I do. I have been them.

The most difficult situation I deal with is living with someone who can not or will not choose to do better. With them, it goes in cycles. Get on the scale, be disgusted with the number, change eating habits, lose weight, go back to old eating habits. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I have learned to be okay with that. Nothing I say or do will change that individual’s behavior. Making that person feel bad about their health will only serve to damage our relationship.

The problem happens when I’m feeling bad and they want to reinforce old patterns of behavior by bringing home foods I no longer eat. I understand the intention is to make me happy. For me, this is the equivalent of handing an addict a buffet of pills. Not helpful. At all.

Ideally, they would offer emotional support or diversionary activities. That doesn’t happen. Instead I have to maintain iron will power at my weakest.

Fitness Journal: Day 26

arms.jpg

I acknowledge that Muscle Bound Chick has worked very hard to get that way. If you see this, Muscle Bound Chick, I appreciate your efforts. Please don’t squash me like a bug.

 

Prompt: What keeps you motivated? Where do you find positive influences?

This was answered here. I am predominantly motivated by the number on the scale.

I have a secondary motivation that comes from the concept of personal wellness. This includes keeping an eye on my muscle tone. I don’t want to be a muscle bound is-that-a-chick-’cause-I-can’t-really-tell-through-all-that-muscle kind of girl but I do want nicely toned arms and shoulders.

I’d also like to tone my tush into something other than the slab ‘o flesh that it has become, given the effects of age and gravity. This has proven challenging because of bad knees that prevent the tushy toning squat.

Fitness Journal: Day 24

Prompt: How do you feel about the “pro-ana” and “thinspo” community of weight loss on tumblr?

(Confession time: I had to look up thinspo.)

People are going to seek out others to make them feel as if they are not alone, as if what they do is acceptable, the norm, etc. Everyone wants to feel good about who they are and how they live their lives. This applies if they are anorexic or sadists or leather lovers or balloon enthusiasts or binge eaters.

I freely admit that there are times when I wish I could go through my days eating whatever I want to get happy, and then vomit it back out so my addiction wouldn’t be evident on my waistline/ass/thighs.

Thinking rationally, I recognize this would only be trading one addiction for another. There is part of me that says it’s a darn good thing I hate to throw up. This is the same part that says it’s a good thing alcohol tastes so vile.

I don’t think the presence of the above mentioned communities makes a significant difference one way or another.

Fitness Journal: Day 23

Prompt: How does the media influence your drive to lose weight?

I thought long and hard about this answer because my gut reaction didn’t seem possible. After much thought, I’m sticking with it.

I’m sure I am influenced by the media. In the age of perpetual electronic media and the ubiquitous smart phone, it would be impossible not to be. That said, I’m not a reader of fashion magazines. I do not immerse myself in celebrity gossip trends.

As sure as I am that I must be under the influence of media, I am equally as sure that I’m unaware of how it manifests in my life.